about-bird
HOLLY BAUMGARDNER

Education:

B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University
B.F.A., Ohio University
M.Ed., Smith College

Started at The Common School:

1992

Outside interests:

kayaking, Black history, needle crafts

What brought you to The Common School?

While I was working on my masters in education at Smith, I heard wonderful things about The Common School from my professors. Team teaching, in-depth studies and the use of theater throughout the school were the big draws for me as a new classroom teacher.

Tell us about a favorite teaching moment at The Common School:

One of many favorite teaching moments at The Common School was the Saturday morning a group of us spent helping three E1 students meet their goal for a social justice project. We had all gone to a school event sponsored by a Common School parent to help make shoes for children living in Syrian refugee camps. After the event, three E1 second years asked the parent what else they could do. She showed them how to hand sew small cloth dolls, and asked if they would make enough so that she could place one in each pair of shoes. The students flew to the task, involving classmates from two classrooms.  However as the deadline drew closer, they weren’t sure if they would meet their goal. So, on a Saturday morning, the students, classmates and two parents, who are Common School alums, got together and helped with the final push. We had a great time sewing, talking, drinking tea and helping the students exceed their goal!

What do you like best about The Common School?

What I like best about The Common School is having two years to get to know children and their families. Working with students for two years helps me develop a relationship with the child and a partnership with the family. Getting to know students and their care-givers this well builds a trust that helps us unravel challenges to growth and support strengths both of which are necessary to students taking risks and spreading their wings.